Bid to launch new ex-servicemen’s association in Hartlepool

Hartlepool council Armed Forces Champion Councillor Allan Barclay
Hartlepool council Armed Forces Champion Councillor Allan Barclay

Efforts are underway to help members of an Army regiment stay connected.

There are plans to start a branch of the Royal Engineers Association in Hartlepool.

Organisers need at least 20 serving or ex-members to register an interest in order to take the project forward.

Hartlepool’s Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Allan Barclay and Terry Shaw, of the Armed Forces Liaison Group, who both served in the regiment, are spearheading the plans.

Coun Barclay said Hartlepool has strong links to the Royal Engineers despite there being no official association in the town.

He said: “We know there are quite a few Royal Engineers in Hartlepool and we are keen to try to find them.

“There are quite a few ex-service associations where members are Royal Engineers but they are associated to other organisations as they haven’t got their own.

“We feel it’s the right time. Quite a few members have approached me and asked about joining or starting an association of their own.”

Sir Ron Norman, a Freeman of Hartlepool and also an ex Sapper officer, is also supporting the efforts for a Hartlepool association along with the council which signed up to the Armed Forces Community Covenant in 2012.

There are branches of the association up and down the country as well as overseas.

Coun Barclay, who served in the Royal Engineers for 25 years until 1994, added: “I was quite surprised when I came to Hartlepool 10 years ago that there wasn’t a branch here.

“There is plenty of interest, it is just a case of getting it started.”

The aims of the association include fostering a spirit of comradeship, to act as a link between serving and retired members of the Corps and provide financial and other support to serving and former members, their families and dependants in times of need.

For more details contact Allan Barclay by email at allan.barclay@hartlepool.gov.uk or 07413 690377 or Terry Shaw by emailing: 0639sha@armymail.mod.uk or phone 07518 385000.